Sunday, July 26, 2009

Notes from a hot Sunday

My heart goes out this evening to the Wingard family of Oklahoma, who lost a daughter today in a motorcycle accident. She was at the Beachy-Amish youth fellowship meetings in Texas. Her folks had lots of old family/friends/Menno-connections with ours.

Believe me, I am going to hug my daughters tight when they get home.

* * *

Today Paul and I went to the Kropf reunion at the Fairview multi-purpose building, which still isn't air-conditioned after all these years despite being a truly multi-purpose building, used for weddings and cantata performances and reunions and basketball games and much more.

I think it's cool that we live in the original Daniel Kropf house--maybe that's why I like to go to the reunion. No actually, I like to go and watch people. There's Jeff the politician, who shmoozes this crowd of farmers like only a politician can--"GERALD!! How ya doin'??" [clap on shoulder, big grin] "Heeeyyy, Lyle!!" etc. etc.

There's Victor Knox, one of the famous brothers, who emceed the event enthusiastically despite the blistering heat. He managed to bring in the topic of global warming and said there's a lot more he could say on that subject. "He'd better not, or I'll leave," snapped an aunt in our corner. These Kropfs speak their minds, that's for sure.

Victor said the original house looks better now than it's ever looked. That made me very happy.

Arnold Knox is happy that the house is still in the family but wonders if they should have tried harder to keep it on the original property instead of having Wilton move it up the road. He gets more sentimental about these things as he gets older, he says.

Of course the ones who have strayed the farthest afield gushed the most about their wonderful Mennonite heritage.

Dot was there with her new husband Bob, and they looked very sweet, and I met Dot's daughter who has a child with a chronic condition, and we had one of those mom-connections right off.

Victor announced that Bob and Larry would pass around the donation baskets. I told Paul I felt like we were in a Veggie-Tales movie.

Aunt Allene told me once that when she was growing up in the brick house just down the road, they had 75 first cousins within 5 miles. These cousins are the driving force behind the continuation of the Kropf reunion, proving my point that first cousins are the impetus behind most reunions, and later generations stay home.

A young man wandered around in what looked like a black top hat. I felt sorry for him, so desperate to stand out from this salt-of-the-earth crowd and be different. Then I was informed that this was Dot's son Merv, who I understand works at Drift Creek Camp and is well loved by my nieces who go there, and his hat was Daniel Kropf's, and still has his initials on the inside.

The food was amazing, of course. They ought to sell the Kropf cookbook at these events.

Lee Snyder amazed me once again, that such a small person could have accomplished so much. Somehow you expect a former college president (Bluffton) to be less hummingbird-like and more like her raven cousins.

Great-aunt Bernice talked about the strain of deafness in the extended family, and how at one time there were 16 deaf people at Harrisburg Mennonite, and they had their own preacher, Deaf Levi. She had her second cousins, Mildred and Pauline, talk about having deaf parents. Their sister Ruth is Lee's mom, married to Frank and Annie's son Lloyd.

My favorite part was one of those only-at-a-family-reunion moments: Victor put his arm around little white-haired Bernice and introduced her by saying,

Quote of the Day:
"This is the lady who potty-trained me."


  1. Ah, reunions! We just hosted a Stoll reunion in WI with over 200 people attending at one time or another over the weekend. We had 7 of the original 17 siblings and over 40 of the 80 first cousins attending. And you're right. Many of the next generation need to be dragged here, but we all had a wonderful time. Our aunt from OR (Ella Boss) was not able to come due to poor health. Connie

  2. Thanks for a good read - (from a former Oregonian who knows most of the characters mentioned) Was Nadine there? We did a lot of things together way back when?!

  3. Yes! Nadine was there, also Luella and Allene. (Wilma is no longer with us.) Love those aunts.

  4. Was Otoniel there with his immediate family?

  5. Hi Dorcas,
    I am having a bit of trouble getting a message to you...might be at our end...Will you be speaking tonight?

  6. Mark--yes, I think I saw him there.

    Peter--yes, I plan to be there, 7pm.

  7. Really enjoyed reading your blog! I especially loved your write up about the Kropf reunion. It's fun to read about the in-laws and what my wonderful father-in-law has been up to these days. Your quote of the day was precious.


  8. AWESOME quote of the day!!! : )